Who doesnʻt know the boring questioning according to Scheme F: "What is the name of the capital of Burkina Faso" or "How high is the highest mountain in Switzerland"? Many people understand geography as the mere knowledge of what to find where on the map. Of course, a certain topographical basic education is still absolutely necessary today. Just knowing what is where, however, has about the same depth as memorized dates in history. Like history, geography is more interested in the interrelationships. Geography doesnʻt just ask,"Where are things?" She goes many steps further and asks,"Why are things where they are?"
Human beings and their environment are at the centre of geography. Through his work, man leaves traces in the natural environment and the planet Earth with its natural conditions influences us humans and our daily life. With its spatial approach, geography contributes to understanding this relationship structure.
Geography literally translates as much as the "description and exploration of the earth". The variety of this can be seen again and again in the geography lessons at the Thor-Heyerdahl-Gymnasium. From grade 5 to the Abitur, our pupils explore their living space in different scales: the school, Germany, Europe and finally the world. Topics such as climate change, globalisation, life in the One World, natural catastrophes or fair trade are dealt with in class in an up-to-date and pupil-oriented way. The central idea here is sustainability, i. e. the harmony of economy, ecology and social issues. Only in this way will it be possible to hand over our planet responsibly to future generations. In addition to traditional teaching, we also work in projects in the field of geography. Classes regularly take part in competitions organised by the University of Kiel, Bündnis eine Welt e. V. or the Federal Agency for Civic Education with great success.
In geography, it is very important to explore the space on site. For example, excursions to a farm or the HafenCity in Hamburg are an integral part of the lessons.
The Geography student council
At the Thor-Heyerdahl-Gymnasium, geography has a large subject area. This includes a wide range of multimedia equipment with a smartboard, a connected document camera and PCs with Internet access. Miscellaneous wall maps, several books and models and many other materials are available for the lessons. In addition, the student council has several class sets of the current atlases, so that students do not have to bring them from home.
P. S. The capital of Burkina Faso is called Ouagadougou and the highest mountain of Switzerland is the Dufourspitze with 4634m.
The project will involve students thinking about their favourite books when they were younger and thinking about which books interest them now, then sharing this information with students in the other country.